Kozai Migration Naturally Explains the White Dwarf Planet WD1856 b
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationMuñoz, D. J., & Petrovich, C. (2020). Kozai Migration Naturally Explains the White Dwarf Planet WD1856 b. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 904(1), L3.
JournalASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS
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AbstractThe Jovian-sized object WD.1856.b transits a white dwarf (WD) in a compact 1.4 day orbit. Unlikely to have endured stellar evolution in its current orbit, WD. 1856.b is thought to have migrated from much wider separations. Because the WD is old, and a member of a well-characterized hierarchical multiple, the well-known Kozai mechanism provides an effective migration channel for WD.1856.b. The tidal dissipation that makes this mechanism possible is sensitive to the mass of WD.1856.b, which remains unconstrained by observations. Moreover, the lack of tides in the star allows us to directly connect the current semimajor axis to the pre-migration one, from which we can infer the initial conditions of the system. By further requiring that planets must survive all previous phases of stellar evolution before migrating, we are able to constrain the main-sequence semimajor axis of WD.1856.b to have been similar to 2.5 au, and its mass to be similar or equal to 0.7-3MJ. These mass limits put WD.1856.b firmly within the planet category. Furthermore, our inferred values imply that WD.1856.b was born a typical gas giant. We further estimate the occurrence rate of Kozai-migrated planets around WDs to be O(10(-3) - 10(-4)), suggesting that WD.1856.b is the only one in the TESS sample, but implying. (102) future detections by the LSST survey. In a sense, WD.1856.b was an ordinary Jovian planet that underwent an extraordinary dynamical history.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Science Foundation